Tutorial Grinnell College Fall, 2008
Computers: Facts, Misconceptions, and Ethical Issues

First Writing Assignment

Report topic to instructor: Thursday, September 11
Due: Tuesday, September 23

The beginning of this course has described several ethical viewpoints. This assignment asks you to consider a practical use of technology from one or more of these ethical perspectives. More specifically, you should follow these steps.

  1. Explore sources in the library to study the ethical dimensions of a computing example or case study. For example, you might consider how one or more ethical perspectives apply in specific circumstances, such as

    Whatever example or case study you choose, the discussion should focus on a concrete and specific situation rather than an abstract possibility.

  2. Write a 2-3 page paper that describes your specific example or case study. Your discussion should include:

In order to encourage an early start on this paper, you should report your topic to the instructor by 8:00 am on Thursday, September 11. This report should indicate both the example or case study that you will discuss and the source(s) you have found that describes it. (If, despite considerable effort, you have been unable to identify a topic by this deadline, you should report what work you have done, and you should make an appointment to see the instructor on Wednesday, September 10.)

You should write this paper at a level appropriate for others in the class. Thus, you can assume your reader has understood material discussed in class and in readings, but you should not assume any ideas specific to your selected example.

As in all papers, the paper's introduction should indicate how your material is organized, as well as identify the main topic of the paper. Also, following normal practice, you must cite other people's ideas, and you must include a bibliography. Use APA style for all citations and for your list of references.

You must use word processing software to prepare your paper, you must turn in 3 copies of your paper, and your paper must be printed on a laser-quality printer.

This document is available on the World Wide Web as

created 23 August 1997
last revised 10 July 2008
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For more information, please contact Henry M. Walker at walker@cs.grinnell.edu.